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Authors Guild Irked By Text-To-Speech on Kindle 2 by Associated Press/USA Today.com
Review by Charles Mohapel
Associated Press/USA Today.com, The Authors Guild, Amazon News  ISBN/ITEM#: CM090212AGIBTK
Date: 12 February 2009

Links: USA Today.com Article / The Authors Guild / Kindle 2 Product Page / Show Official Info /

Although it just came out this week, Amazon's Kindle 2 e-book reader is being viewed as a threat to sales of audio books by The Authors Guild. They are considering "asking Amazon to disable the audio function on e-books it licenses", but in response "Amazon spokesman Drew Herdener said the company has the proper license for the text-to-speech function, which comes from Nuance Communications Inc."

Will both sides come to a reasonable conclusion or will the lawyers get involved? Stay tuned.

In a memo sent to members Thursday, the guild says the Kindle 2's "Read to Me" feature "presents a significant challenge to the publishing industry."

The Kindle can read text in a somewhat stilted electronic voice. But the Authors Guild says the quality figures to "improve rapidly." And the guild worries that could undermine the market for audio books.

It is telling authors and publishers to consider asking Amazon to disable the audio function on e-books it licenses.

Amazon spokesman Drew Herdener said the company has the proper license for the text-to-speech function, which comes from Nuance Communications Inc.

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